PHL has access to 380 million UN funds to prepare for typhoons

THE Philippines will be able to draw 380 million pesos from the United Nations Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) mechanism to prepare for the upcoming typhoon season.

Gustavo Gonzalez, resident and humanitarian coordinator for the United Nations (UN) in the Philippines, said Thursday that the funds will be made available as part of an innovative pilot test for predictive action.

With the two-year funding from UNCERF, the predictive interventions of the pilot project are carried out by organizations, while the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) takes on overall coordination.

“The framework aims to support 270,500 most vulnerable people in 44 municipalities in regions 5 [Bicol] and 8 [Eastern Visayas] three days before a category 4 or 5 typhoon hits land, ”the UN said in a statement on Thursday.

The announcement of support came at a high-level meeting co-chaired by Gonzalez and Defense Minister Delfin Lorenzana, who is also chair of the National Council on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management.

In a collaborative dialogue, ways were explored how a forward-looking approach can address the challenges of the climate crisis.

Lorenzana noted that the government “is keen to further explore how to contextualize the pilot and ensure that it strengthens the local government units that are our first line of defense”.

The Philippines chief of defense also said the “current focus is a good start to eventually roll out the pilot to other areas.”

“This work would not be possible without international collaboration, and I welcome the resource partners and recognize their commitment, both globally and nationally, to advancing humanitarian aid, disaster risk reduction and the fight against climate change,” said Gonzalez.

“The UK, Germany, the EU and Canada are major contributors to the CERF, and these resource partners, along with the World Bank, are also trailblazing supporters of predictive action,” he added.

The UN agencies participating in the pilot in the Philippines include the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

A number of forward-looking pilots are supported by CERF around the world as there is compelling evidence that acting before the disaster strikes cuts costs and saves lives.

The United Nations said acting ahead of disasters lowers the cost of humanitarian aid, preserves human dignity and enables faster recovery by protecting hard-won development achievements that have already been made.

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